MADISON — Police are warning people to be careful when asked for money over the phone — even if the person who appears to be asking for help says he’s your grandson.

A couple was the target of a phone scam on Wednesday when a man purporting to be their grandson called with a sad story, according to Madison Police Chief Barry Moores, who did not know the names of the couple.

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The scammer, who knew the real name of the grandson, said he had accidentally bumped into someone on the street and caused him to fall down. He said he was in court and was being asked to pay money. He asked them to not tell his parents.

That’s when a different man got on the phone with the grandparents and pretended to be a lawyer, saying the grandson needed $2,100.

The grandparents agreed to send the money by Western Union, only to learn afterward they’d been duped.

Moores said people must learn to be aware scams can happen to them, especially since there’s often a wealth of information about people online that scammers can use. Scammers will use the identity of people’s loved ones, he said.

Once people send money, there’s often little police can do, he said.

The Madison Police Department will refer the matter to the Office of the Maine Attorney General.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

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